Skip to main content

Full text of "The Fate Of Man In The Modern World"

See other formats


Cosmopolitanism is general rather than universal.
The universal is something concretely one: it
does not depend upon numbers. Christianity is
ecumenism and concrete unity, taking into itself
all transformed and enlightened individual being.
Nationalism is above all an emotional phenomenon
and in a dispute with Nationalism aK intellectual
arguments are powerless.

There is an anecdote which, whether the event
really took place or not, has true philosophic
meaning. In a French salon, where there were
gathered a number of prominent political person-
alities, one Frenchman expressed his disgust at
the English who always consider themselves the
first nation in the world, with a supreme world-
mission, and refuse to recognize that other nations
might be their equals* Another replied : " Why
does this disturb you about the English: the
French think the same of themselves." " Well,"
was the reply, "but with us it is true." All
national disputes close with the same anecdote.
This is because the attitude toward one's nation
is erotic, an attitude of erotic choice. Our nation,
our country is as dear to us as the face of a
beloved woman. But Nationalism sets eros over
against ethos, and transforms the natural erotic
in its attitude into a supreme principle or doctrine.
In principle it affirms only the erotic and denies
the ethical. Hence its inevitable conflict, not